Getting along with other users

Talking to people online isn't exactly the same as talking to them in person.

We don’t get to see or hear a lot of the things that tell us how someone feels, like their voice or the look on their face. That can make it hard to tell if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings by accident, and it can also make that person feel like you’re ignoring how they feel.

Here are some ways to deal with that

  • Start by assuming the best about other people. Because it’s hard to tell how other people are feeling online, we need to cut them a little extra slack.
  • Be polite. What might seem like teasing or joking around online can be taken a lot more seriously if the other person can’t hear or see you.
  • Before you post something, take a minute to read it over and think about how it might make them feel. Remember that a real person will read it. You might want to add an emoji or a little explanation to make sure you’re clear – but remember, adding a winky or “JK” doesn’t make it okay to say something mean!
  • If something that someone else posts makes you mad, take some time to cool down before you reply. Remember to always take a few seconds to check how you’re feeling before replying to anything: just like we can’t always tell how other people feel when we’re online, we don’t always realize when we’re mad either.
  • Never take sides in other people’s fights. There are lots of ways to help when someone’s being harassed or bullied, but lining up on one side or another only makes things worse for everybody.

It’s important to respect the values of the community, but remember that you have a right – and a responsibility – to help set those values too. Don’t let things like harassment, racism, sexism or homophobia go unchallenged: if you see anything like that, report it to Wattpad. You can also post that you don’t agree with what’s being said, but be careful not to make it personal or let it turn into an argument. Please see the Wattpad Empathy Project to learn more about empathy and helping to stop the spread of hate. If you want help deciding how to handle this, check out MediaSmarts’ tool : Impact: How to Make a Difference When You Witness Bullying Online.